The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) recently won an important battle in Queens County that allows biological parents to bypass adoption procedures when their same-sex partners apply to adopt their children. This second parent adoption initiative removes one major barrier to LGBT adoption, relieving the biological parent from the criminal background check, home study and interview process required of stepparents wishing to adopt their partner’s children.
In New York, as in most states in the country that have legally recognized same-sex marriage, same-sex partners now enjoy many of the privileges enjoyed by heterosexual stepparents, including:
As in all cases of stepparent adoption, in order for the process to go forward, the birth parent of the child must give consent for the adoption. If the birth parent neither supports the child financially nor has regular contact or visits with the child, the adoptive parent can claim that the biological parent has abandoned the child. In any scenario, it is essential to consider the emotional well-being of the child when considering second parent adoption, and to refrain from adoption when it is likely to cause a conflict of loyalties in the child’s mind.
If you are a same-sex stepparent and would like to adopt your partner’s children, contact an experienced family law attorney. To learn more about second parent adoption, call the Buffalo, NY Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis at 716.886.9600 or contact us online.
As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 28 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.
Alexandra M. Rockwood is a Senior Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She primarily practices in the areas of matrimonial and family law, including divorce, child custody, and child support. Alexandra is a practicing matrimonial and family law attorney as…